My new favorite pasta: (faux) Bucatini All’amatriciana
April 12, 2013
Bacon pasta. Does it get better? (Not really, no.)
Back by special request this week for PiC’s carbing up pre-MAJOR NEW RACE, I get to make an enormous batch of this amazing new recipe. As race support staff, I (so modestly) rock.
One of my favorite things to do is experiment with new recipes if I 1) don’t screw it up and 2) have an appreciative audience. Number two is a given with PiC. Our diet tends to get staid and boring which, for such a health-oriented eater, is a surprising thing about him, but he does appreciate and enjoy anything I cook even when I think it didn’t turn out. So all that’s left to do is Not Screw It Up. No pressure.
After reading Eat and Run this week, I’m also inspired to experiment with the recipes shared in the book to see how that helps PiC’s running. And maybe it’ll have a positive effect on my health too. Guinea pig-dom!
Also happily, a now-local childhood friend is close enough to visit with us once in a while and we’ve found that we love cooking and eating together. We try to share new or new-to-each-other recipes each time.
This was the first time I’d ever cooked with crushed red pepper and boy howdy! Did I ever screw up. I normally always follow new recipes as exactly as possible (ahem, except every other recipe where I substitute one or three ingredients because our cupboard’s too lean. Including this one, as you’ll see.) and as it turns out, even our fire-mouth SE-Asia-travel hardened friend thought the first batch was eyewateringly spicy. Whoops.
We had this with an amazing kale salad and leftovers were just as incredible. The next time I made a batch, we two greedy-faces ate up the whole skillet in one meal. Good grief. Not totally recommended.
serves 2 greedy-faces or 4 normal people.
1/2 pound thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped*
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper*
12 ounces prepared tomato sauce*
1 pound bucatini*
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves*
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving
*I use regular bacon instead of pancetta since it’s faster and easier to find.
HALVE the red pepper for the love of your taste buds.
Just used jarred sauce to spare my hands.
Bucatini is remarkably hard to find! So I use linguine instead.
I pretty much never have parsley.
1. (I trim at least half the fat off the bacon first.) Then, in a large, deep skillet, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, until lightly browned. Cook about 6 minutes.
2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate.
3. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet.
4. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned. Takes about 6 minutes.
5. Return the pancetta to the skillet. Add the tomato sauce, season with salt and simmer until very thick. Cook about 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
7. Add the pasta to the sauce along with the parsley and the reserved cooking water and stir over moderately high heat until the pasta is evenly coated, 2 minutes.
8. Serve the pasta in bowls. Parmesan if desired.
:: Have you ever seen bucatini in a store?
:: If you’re a runner, how do you like to dietarily prepare for races?
:: Or are you more like me and just like to make yummy food?